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(Stepping on the Keys)
Clarence M. Jones
"Sultan of Syncopation"
Recorded in Chicago during 1923 featuring Clarence M. Jones at the piano.
*"Modulations (Stepping on the Keys)" was composed by Clarence M. Jones.
This session was produced for Autograph Records by recording innovator Orlando R. Marsh. The sound engineer had been operating privately in Chicago experimenting with advanced recording techniques and the use of a high-fidelity electrical process. -This record was possibly one of them.
Published by Clarence M. Jones in 1923 this number became a staple of the pianist's steadily growing repertoire. Noted for its prominent use of key-blending modulations (aka "bouncing ball" effect) there is evidence that the piece was once used as an instructional device in his role as a piano teacher. This fact can be deduced from the frequent appearance of the same novelty on the recordings of one of Jones' most well known students, early Boogie-woogie pianist, Jimmy Blythe.
By 1917 Clarence wasn't teaching nearly as much as he once did instead spending much of his time as an active bandleader and performer booked at local theaters, clubs and cafes. Still in spite of his diminished teaching schedule he did make time for a few special students one of whom was a sixteen year old James Louis "Jimmy" Blythe. In young Jimmy the older pianist saw a great deal of potential and as the decade drew to a close both men would find themselves completely immersed in the developing styles of jazz and blues on the keys.
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